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Canada withdraws 41 diplomats from India after New Delhi threatens to revoke diplomatic immunity

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly informed that only 21 diplomats would be stationed in India from now onwards. This comes after India had given an ultimatum to Canada to reduce its diplomatic staff by October 20.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: October 20, 2023 8:57 IST
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on India-Canada
Image Source : ANI Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on India-Canada diplomatic tensions

Canada has evacuated its 41 diplomats and 42 other members of the staff from India after New Delhi said that it would revoke their diplomatic immunity.

Amid India-Canada diplomatic tensions, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said, "As of now, I can confirm that India has formally conveyed its plan to unethically remove diplomatic immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by October 20. This means 41 Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents were in danger of having immunity stripped on an arbitrary date and this would put their personal safety at risk... Canadians watching may be wondering what this means for our operations in India. There's no question that India's decision will impact the levels of services to Consulates in both countries. Unfortunately, we have to put a pause on all in-person services in our Consulates in Chandigarh, in Mumbai and in Bangalore..."

"The safety of Canadians and of our diplomats is always my top concern. Given the implications of India's actions on the safety of our diplomats, we have facilitated their safe departure from India," said Joly adding this means that our diplomats and their families have now left.

"A unilateral revocation of the diplomatic privilege and immunity is contrary to international law and a clear violation of Geneva Convention on diplomatic relations. Threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory," Joly further said.

The Canadian foreign minister continued and said that this will impact the level of services to citizens of both the countries adding his country was pausing in-person services in three major cities in India.

India-Canada diplomatic relations nosedived after New Delhi strongly objected to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement in the Parliament last month that there were "credible allegations" of Indian involvement in the slaying of Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh leader who was killed by masked gunmen in June in Surrey, outside Vancouver.

For years, India had said that Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, had links to terrorism, an allegation Nijjar denied.

Meanwhile, India also has canceled visas for Canadians, and Canada has not retaliated for that. India previously expelled a senior Canadian diplomat after Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat.

With inputs from PTI, IANS

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